The best books about well-being and self-knowledge

Tushar Choksi Author Of Significance and Means of Self-Knowledge
By Tushar Choksi

Who am I?

Tushar Choksi is a sincere seeker of the reality of human experience since his childhood days. Due to the undercurrent force of spirituality and the desire to be a good human, he practiced meditation and studied Vedantic scriptures for more than twenty-five years. During his life, he studied in-depth and participated in various activities based on the Vedantic tradition. One major activity he has been part of for most of his life is the activity of Swadhyay inspired by Pujya Padurang Shastri Athavale. He was also engrossed in the teachings of Ramkrishna and Vivekananda and the tradition of Arsha Vidya of Swami Dayananda Saraswati. Currently, Tushar conducts classes on Vedanta (non-duality), and continues his study of Vedanta. 

I wrote...

Significance and Means of Self-Knowledge

By Tushar Choksi,

Book cover of Significance and Means of Self-Knowledge

What is my book about?

"Human life is a journey of an individual, from suffering to relatively happy, and from a relatively happy towards the absolutely happy and safe."

By analyzing and understanding the true nature of an individual in the light of Vedanta, we can get rid of suffering and sorrow clinging to us. Self-knowledge determines our true well-being. If I understand the significance of self-knowledge, I find the key to how to be happy and safe at all times and everywhere irrespective of objective conditions surrounding me. This book dives into human personality. Not only does it show the connection of human suffering with its root, self-ignorance, but it also provides the means to gain self-knowledge. 

The books I picked & why

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Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill

By Matthieu Ricard,

Book cover of Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill

Why this book?

This book describes that all human beings strive to achieve perfect authentic happiness directly or indirectly. True happiness must be cultivated by the transformation of oneself. True joy is what we need and not passing excitement. The book speaks to us about creating a contemplative and introspective mind conducive to our wellbeing and inner peace. If our mind can manage its thoughts, perceptions, and emotions, then it can change our moods and transform us forever. Strong Belief in the reality of the ego leads to human pain. Ignorance and mental toxins are the causes of unhappiness that must be eliminated and then we can open the door to our true well-being. Lasting well-being is rooted in the culture of positive emotions, wisdom, and compassion. We need to cultivate an emotionally balanced mind through long-term practice and training.

The Vedantic Self and the Jungian Psyche

By Dr. Carol Whitfield,

Book cover of The Vedantic Self and the Jungian Psyche

Why this book?

This book explores the healing capacity of the disciplines of Vedanta and Jungian Psyche for a human being. It describes how the emotional well-being and non-dual wholeness of a human being can be achieved.  The author emphasizes when using Vedanta that the lack of differentiation of self from the mind and the world creates our suffering. Therefore, the solution to our problems lies in self-knowledge only. The degree of identification of self with the non-self is causing one to suffer to that degree. All human beings seek love. When we discover the Vedantic self as the source of love then the search for wholeness completes. When we know that the self of others is myself, then we reach the supreme level of intimacy and know others in truth.

Need for Cognitive Change

By Swami Dayananda Saraswati,

Book cover of Need for Cognitive Change

Why this book?

The book clearly states that cognitive change is required to ensure our well-being. Cognitive change is a change in our outlook on ourselves, God, and the outside world. we need to change from within to face ourselves. Vedanta leads to cognitive change in the fundamental way we look at ourselves and the world. Anger is an expression of the unconscious of a human being. Anger must be managed with a better understanding that it is within the universal psychological order. Because a human being is self-conscious, he finds himself as a person who is lacking and always strives to complete himself through various achievements, relations, and objects. The constant urge to be free from all limitations and lack lies in the self-knowledge that “I am happiness itself”.

The Message of the Upanisads

By Swami Ranganathananda,

Book cover of The Message of the Upanisads

Why this book?

The author declares that man must be educated in the knowledge of his own divine nature. This self-knowledge is not of our separate ego-natures but of the oneself which is the self of all. We should strive to realize both the delights of social existence and the fulfillment through the spiritual realization of the self. Clinging to the shadows of the sensate experience, taking them to be the whole of reality, man ignores the infinite and immortal dimension of his personality. This is spiritual suicide and man is submerged in the objects of experience and his real self is enveloped in the darkness of despair and suffering.  The man should deepen his awareness of his little self (ego) and realize it as the Atman, ever free, self-luminous, eternal, and pure.

Presence, Volume 1: The Art of Peace and Happiness

By Rupert Spira,

Book cover of Presence, Volume 1: The Art of Peace and Happiness

Why this book?

This book describes in detail with extreme clarity that knowing our true being is peace, happiness, and love. Our true self is always present consciousness which knows the mind, body, and the world. The belief in the existence of a separate inner self and an external world obscures our true nature. With the veiling of our true nature, an imaginary self that is limited and situated in the mind-body is seemingly created and the search for happiness in the outside world begins. Suffering is the veiling of one's true nature or happiness, not the lack of happiness. After the dissolution of the separate self that we think and feel to be, happiness and love shine forth. Peace and happiness are not the states of body and mind, but inherent to our real nature.

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